Big Hero 6 may have been one of the more obscure Marvel publications but that hasn’t stopped Disney from cashing in on it and making it the latest addition to its comic adaption roster.
Although the original comic was heavily inspired by Japanese Manga and set in Japan, Disney Animation Studio have given it a more Western feel, opting to set it in ’San Fransokyo’, a futuristic mélange of East and West, summed up nicely in the opening scene with a shot of the San Fransisco Bridge atop with Japanese architecture.
The film opens in the seedy underworld of Bot fighting where our (aptly named) hero, Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), a 14-year-old genius in robotics, spends his time hustling some real shady looking characters. Disappointed by what he sees as wasted talent, his big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) takes him to the robotics university he attends and introduces him to his friends. He also shows Hiro his latest project; a friendly, inflatable robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit) whose main purpose is to heal people. Hiro and Baymax’s growing relationship is as heartwarming as it is inspiring as they journey together through the many ups and downs of life overcoming feelings of anger, sadness and revenge.
The star of this movie is definitely Baymax. With a completely innocent view of the world, all he wants to do is help people, especially Hiro, resulting in some very touching and at times, very funny moments. The animation team have done a superb job animating Baymax, literally a walking, talking balloon, with many of the laughs coming from his everyday struggles to circumnavigate tight spaces, having to deflate and inflate himself to suit and watching him run will be one of the funniest things you see this year.
Although the main theme of the film is the growing relationship of a young boy and his big friend, who in many ways, is more childlike than him, it carries an underlying theme of revenge and that, when left unchecked, it will consume you. Without giving anything away, the main villain is the example of this and you can see that if not for the love and support of Baymax and his friend, Hiro would be destined to go down the same route.
Big Hero 6, although enjoyable, is hardly groundbreaking. The plot is predictable enough that you’ll have it figured out before the film is halfway through and the supporting characters, mainly Hiro’s friends, are so two-dimensional, you won’t really care whether they’re in it or not.
Overall, there are some nice touches to this movie, the relationship between Hiro and Baymax being the highlight, however next to similar productions like Pixars WALL-E, The Incredibles or Wreck-It Ralph it falls way short of the mark.